WTF Community

Day 1174

Global: Total confirmed cases ~1,412,000; Total deaths: ~81,100; Total recoveries: ~298,400. (Johns Hopkins University)

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at

Putting this section of Prof Heather Cox RIchardson’s recap of what is going down with T’s firing of his IG’s - Atkinson, and Glenn Finn and repositioning to get away from oversight. She helps round out some of the logic/motives behind all these nefarious actions (power plays, supreme authority, loyalists to T) and implications (leaving the door open for the Russians to come play in our elections.)

She notes that RealClearNews was reporting that T was fixing to fire seven of his IG’s. WTF…

And that Intelligence Committee Chief Adam Schiff sent a letter to acting DNI Grenell requesting a review of any of his participation concerning IG’s etc. (This is complicated) So therefore I am having her explain the implications and what to look for an including her clips.


While Modly’s attempt to show his dominance backfired, Trump himself is also trying to demonstrate that no one can boss him around. Last Friday, he fired the intelligence community’s inspector general, Michael Atkinson, the man who had told Congress that the acting Director of National Intelligence was withholding the whistleblower complaint over Trump’s phone call with Ukraine President Volodymr Zelensky last July.

Today, Trump removed the Pentagon official tapped to head the group monitoring the $2.2 trillion coronavirus relief package, known as the CARES Act. Glenn Fine, a career official who was serving as the acting Pentagon inspector general, had been selected by a number of his fellow inspectors to head the Pandemic Response Accountability Committee established to oversee CARES. Trump removed him from his position as the Pentagon inspector general, thus making him ineligible to oversee the CARES Act.

Tonight, Susan Crabtree of RealClearPolitics tweeted that Trump was planning to fire 7 Inspectors General in one fell swoop, planning to put his own people into those positions. Such a sweeping purge remains to be seen, but Trump is clearly culling all but his own people, demonstrating that he can behave as he wishes. Democrats are pushing back of course, but so did Paul Rosenzweig, a political appointee in George W. Bush’s Department of Homeland Security. Rosenzweig called Trump’s removal of Fine “an affront to independence and oversight.” “Frankly,” he said, “if the House of Representatives does not condition all further covid aid on the restriction of the president’s removal authority, they will have made a mistake.”

Norm Ornstein of the American Enterprise Institute, a right-leaning organization, warned, “This is a giant step towards a corrupt aristocracy. And not a word from his enablers in Congress….”

Not a word from his enablers, but Representative Adam Schiff (D-CA), the chair of the House Intelligence Committee, announced today that the committee will investigate Trump’s firing of Atkinson. His letter to acting Director of National Intelligence Richard Grenell on the subject asked Grenell to confirm in writing whether he had ever prohibited Atkinson from doing his job, “initiating, carrying out, or completing any investigation, inspection, audit, or review.”

Schiff’s letter does more than that, though. It accuses Grenell of politicizing his office and thus undermining critical intelligence functions. It notes that “Congress has neither authorized organizational changes at ODNI, nor appropriated funds for that purpose” and that the committee “is concerned… by the removal or departure of every Senate-confirmed official at ODNI.” The letter warns Grenell against purging career officials in favor of Trump cronies and demands that he provide by April 16 “a written certification from the Acting General Counsel of ODNI that officials, yourself included, will not permit retaliation or reprisals against anyone who has made, or in the future makes, protected disclosures of misconduct to Congress or Inspectors General.”

If Grenell refuses to stipulate that he will not permit retaliation, he is admitting that, so far as he is concerned, Trump can purge the intelligence community of career officials and replace them with his own people. Remember, the intelligence community has uniformly warned that Russia is already interfering in our upcoming election, while Trump, Grenell, and a former staffer for Devin Nunes (R-CA), now working with Grenell, all deny that finding and assert that it was Ukraine, rather than Russia, that attacked us in 2016. (There is no evidence of this, and intelligence officers say it is Russian propaganda.)

Schiff also warned that “reports indicate that one or more members of your staff may be inappropriately interfering with the production and briefing of intelligence information on election security to Congress, including information that was briefed to all Members on March 10.” He requested “any and all communications” about that briefing.

So here we are. Modly didn’t get away with declaring he could do as he wished. Will Trump, especially when it involves our national security and the upcoming election?

I wouldn’t take a bet. The last time Schiff wrote a letter like this to an acting Director of National Intelligence, Trump got impeached.


Susan Crabtree @susancrabtree
Breaking: Trump is firing 7 IGs in one fail swoop, sources confirm to @RealClearNews. Most likely will be the IGs that were appointed by Pres. Obama or beforehand. He wants his own people in those positions now. Trump during his briefing said he has “put in 7 names” for IGs.
April 7th 2020
10,976 Retweets21,609 Likes



Norman Ornstein @NormOrnstein
@susancrabtree @RealClearNews This is a giant step towards a corrupt autocracy. And not a word from his enabler’s in Congress. No different than the lawmakers in Hungary, in Egypt and other countries where they turned a blind eye to vicious dictators seizing power and squeezing freedoms out of the society.
April 8th 2020
781 Retweets2,332 Likes

Schiff letter:



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